Forgotten Paths to NEPA: A Historical Analysis of the Early Environmental Law in the 1960s United States


Many consider the 1970s as the environmental decade and the year 1970 as the beginning of environmental law in the United States. We trace herein the historical roots of environmental law to events and movements before the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA]. The decade before NEPA was implemented was one of great foment and a focus on change. We attempt to locate the emergence of environmental law in the 1960s underscoring its links with other important social movements of the time.

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